The Government of Papua New Guinea, through the Mineral Resources Authority, has granted six exploration licenses to PanAust, the parent company of Frieda River Limited.
Mining Minister, Sir Ano Pala, stated, "The approval of these exploration licenses is a demonstration of the government's commitment to move the Frieda River Project forward."
PanAust has invested over $260 million US, equivalent to K870 million, in the Frieda River Project since 2014. Phil McCormack, PanAust General Manager Studies, emphasized, "This includes ongoing community support, government relations, and stakeholder engagements."
McCormack further expressed the company's dedication, saying, "We are willing and waiting to work with the government of PNG to ensure that we can deliver a world-class project that PNG can be proud of... in this great country of Papua New Guinea."
With a staff of 26 on-site, PanAust provides various forms of support, including medical emergency helicopter assistance and contributions to education, health, and local communities. This support has been ongoing since the company's establishment in 2014.
McCormack stated, "We are willing and waiting to work with the government of PNG to ensure that we can deliver [a] world-class project that PNG can be proud of... in this great country of Papua New Guinea."
Jerry Garry, Acting Managing Director of the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA), explained the resource constraints faced by the MRA's state team, stating, "The state team's manpower is stretched between the Wafi Goldpu Project and Porgera mine project, and thus has not progressed the assessment of the Frieda River Project at this stage."
However, Garry assured, "But as soon as we get one of the projects off the ground, we will seriously look into that, assessing and permitting Frieda River Project."
Garry added, "It is my pleasure to have the Minister sign off on the six supporting exploration tenements, those grounds will ultimately hold various infrastructures for Frieda River project. Such as airstrip, the dam, the power plant, processing plant, and the other supporting infrastructures."
Sir Ano Pala reaffirmed the government's commitment to advancing the Frieda River Project, stating, "The approval of these exploration licenses is a demonstration of the government's commitment to move the Frieda River Project forward."
The MRA emphasized that the Frieda River Project represents a significant untapped resource in Papua New Guinea. Garry stated, "The state is looking to ensure that all effort is given towards permitting the project after the Wafi Golpu and Porgera Mine projects are sorted."